A Decision-Making Guide for Merging Your Clinical Practice
Guest post by Michael J. Cameron, PhD, BCBA-D, chief clinical officer, Pacific Child and Family Associates.
You’re passionate about helping people. It’s why you got into this field and what drives you to do your best. But it’s very likely that your day-to-day life is filled with paperwork and admin tasks instead of spending time doing the clinical work that you love.
As a side effect of your success, you’ll find yourself consumed by the quotidian responsibilities as an administrator, including:
- Invoice preparation and billing
- Managing timely and accurate payments from school systems, insurance companies, private and governmental payer sources
- Completing applications for insurance companies in order to become an “in-network” provider
- Managing ever changing staff schedules
- Managing issues related to human resource (e.g., hiring, payroll, progressive discipline and employee rights issues)
- Managing public relations
- And more
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
The more successful your practice becomes, the more these tasks eat up your days. You’re pushed away from the reason you entered the field – and you come to a point where you need to make a decision.
All successful small business owners have been at this point of realization. They are suddenly faced with a “stay or leave” decision about the business. If they decide to stay, an infusion of additional capital and resources is necessary to build or maintain the quality business they envisioned at the start. A decision to leave will mean a significant shift in their perceived autonomy and sense of success.
It’s a difficult decision to make, but it’s essential. Staying in this state for too long can have a negative impact on your professional life, relationships with friends and family, personal health and overall quality of life.
If you don’t have the capital and resources to add, you need an exit strategy for the situation you’re in. But your exit strategy doesn’t always mean selling or closing the business.
Why Not Choose Option 3?
Opting for a merger relationship with a larger entity can help a practice expand without putting additional pressure on your individual practice’s time or resources. There are multiple benefits to a merger decision that can help you do the work you’re passionate about and reduce the administrative load.
You gain access to an infrastructure for clinical excellence.
As a clinician and business owner, you encounter complicated circumstances that need to be managed expeditiously and responsibly. You need a “clinical home” to handle the circumstances involved in managing treatment resistant behavior disorders, complex behavioral presentations (e.g., a child with an anxiety disorder) and sensitive family situations (e.g., families impacted by psychiatric problems, separation, divorce, substance abuse and domestic violence).